The Gila Foundation for Higher Education, an organization whose sole purpose is to support Gila Community College, Payson Campus, sponsored a piano fund-raiser recently on the college campus. Talented soprano Heather Ribblett, baritone Robert Weintraub, and tenor Todd Strange, all Metropolitan audition winners, ably accompanied by Lin Li at the new piano, entertaining an enthusiastic audience of 145 with "Familiar Opera and Broadway," a Payson first.
Cucina Paradiso catered a reception following the concert.
The results: Gila Community College now has a grand piano suitable for performing artists; it has a teaching tool that can also accompany drama and theatrical events, such as Kids College; and it has an opportunity to become a center for arts in Payson.
The foundation's first fund-raiser was a community effort, and thanks for support are widespread: the foundation's board members, the Gila Community College president and staff, Amon Builders, Compass Bank and The Stockmen's Bank, Chapman Auto Center, The Golf Club at Chaparral Pines, The Rim Club, ERA Young Realty, Frontier Elementary Student Council, Payson Choral Society, Regional Economic Development Corp., Payson Regional Medical Center, Rotary Club Foundation, Gila County Industrial Development Authority, Herman and Sons piano merchants, KMOG and KRIM, Mogollon Health Alliance, the Payson Roundup, the town of Payson, and many individual contributors.
Anne Kaiser, board member, Gila Foundation for Higher Education, Piano Fund-raiser Chairperson